Questions tagged [openings]

One dark and stormy knight, no scratch that, we can do better.

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18
votes
8answers
3k views

How to open a novel?

Looking at the function of the beginning of a novel, it is clear that it should hook the reader and draw him or her into the story. Different techniques for achieving the hook have been described, ...
52
votes
10answers
15k views

How can I write an attention-grabbing first line?

So, the beginning of any story needs to capture the attention of the reader, so he continues and wants to find out what's happening. A Confederacy of Dunces starts "A green hunting cap squeezed the ...
6
votes
3answers
537 views

Prologues with no protagonist - How can they work?

It is my understanding that novels should generally start right off with the protagonist. The story is about the protagonist, after all, not something else (This obviously changes a bit if the PoV is ...
19
votes
11answers
5k views

How to derive a first sentence from a story?

There is much advice out there on "how to write a killer opening line". Usually these blog posts or how-to-write book chapters list examples of first sentences from recognized masterworks or group ...
1
vote
6answers
1k views

Does my story beginning hook the reader? (dialogue + narration)?

The following is the opening of a short story I'm writing: Erin stared at Ruth, eyes narrowed. "There was an earthquake last night?" Ruth nodded. "Around 9p.m. The news says it was a 4.3 ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

How to think of a good beginning?

I've been thinking about my story for a while now and the problem I've run into is that I'm not sure how to start it. It isn't that I can't think of how to start it, I actually have a million ideas ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Translating worldbuilding into an interesting opening

I've once heard there are 2 types of writers, and I am definitively an architect. I can write down a few hundred pages of worldbuilding and characters, but I scrap most of my stories after the first ...
14
votes
7answers
7k views

Why is “It was a dark and stormy night..” not a good opening?

Also, why has it spawned an award for bad writing?
8
votes
6answers
710 views

Building a scene and readability

When building a scene at the beginning of a chapter for instance, before character interactions take place, what are the important elements to consider, and how long should the description be, before ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

How to introduce the content of my essay (for IELTS) to my reader?

Is it okay to use the phrase “This essay will discuss” in the introduction? I was told by my tutor that I have to refrain from using it because it is too “mechanical”. Is there any way that I can make ...
3
votes
3answers
465 views

How to improve this introductory paragraph (to fit writing standards and grab the reader's attention)?

A clock is striking 4:00am at a psychiatric clinic. The darkness, the silence, and absence of people makes it look like a morgue. A young mental health professional is sitting in a chair ...
3
votes
3answers
626 views

Does this beginning hook the reader? [closed]

Guide lines Q no. 4: This is supposed to be the opening part, but certainly not the whole of the first chapter or page for that matter... I'm not exactly sure anyone would take 30 seconds to read that,...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Opening paragraphs of a short story set in an aquarium

I'm writing a short story about a schoolgirl who is visiting an aquarium (this setting is connected with her past and with the conflict of the story). Sophia found herself walking through a glass ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

Is the opening of this story intriguing, “dark” and smooth? [closed]

Disclaimer: I'm not an Native English Speaker. This is my fifth attempt of writing a short story (the previous ones are set in the same "universe" as this one). I would like to know if the reader ...
1
vote
2answers
413 views

How to improve/fix this short introductory paragraph and dialog?

These are the things that I want for this introductory paragraph: Grab the reader's attention Create a melancholic and dark atmosphere Inside was dark with just enough light to see shapes, and ...
1
vote
2answers
883 views

Do these starting paragraphs make you want to keep reading? [closed]

OK, first, I'm not a native. So, what you do by instinct and a bit of research, I do by extensive research, including accents and dialog style. I’m dead. ‘But you have a chance,’ I was told, ‘...